China: Turn for the Better

Turn for the Better

It was an unpropitious sign. When China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping appeared at a lunar New Year's celebration in early February, his right eye, which is often half closed, drooped shut completely. Then the 81-year-old Deng, who had just returned from six weeks in seclusion, again disappeared from public view. Anxious Chinese citizens and China watchers began to fear that his health had taken a serious turn for the worse.

Last week, looking fit, Deng reappeared in Peking to greet visiting Danish Premier Poul Schluter. Western diplomats still believe that Deng has been under medical care. The Chinese leader would only...

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